Thu, May 22, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Paris throws its name into the hat for 2012 Olympics

AP , PARIS

Paris will bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, putting the French capital in competition with New York, London and Madrid, Mayor Bertrand Delanoe announced yesterday.

Candidate cities must announce by July 15, with the International Olympic Committee making its decision in July 2005.

Leipzig, Germany, and Cuba also have plans to bid, with Moscow also expected to be a contender. The Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are also possibilities.

Toronto may enter the race if fellow Canadian city Vancouver is not selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"It is an honor for us to request the 2012 Olympics to be held in Paris," Delanoe told a news conference. "It comes from a desire we all share in Paris and the rest of France to have the games."

He said France's bid would be characterized by performance, professionalism and simplicity.

"It's not a case of showing off or vanity but efficiency and humility," he said.

Delanoe said he had the total support of the government of President Jacques Chirac.

Paris failed in its bid to host the 2008 Olympics, which were awarded to Beijing, China.

But its latest bid will likely incorporate a number of changes to the earlier one, including building the Olympic village in the city center.

Officials will probably propose that beach volleyball be played at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

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